Early days, but Apple Pay struggles outside U.S.

Wed Jun 1, 2016 7:00pm EDT
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* Global turnover $10.9 bln last year, mainly in U.S.

* Tough challenge unseating Internet giants in China

* Popular with core iPhone users, otherwise varied

* Spurring development in untapped markets

By Matt Siegel, Jeremy Wagstaff and Eric Auchard

June 2 (Reuters) - More than 18 months after Apple Pay took the United States by storm, the smartphone giant has made only a small dent in the global payments market, snagged by technical challenges, low consumer take-up and resistance from banks.

The service is available in six countries and among a limited range of banks, though in recent weeks Apple has added four banks to its sole Singapore partner American Express ; Australia and New Zealand Banking Group in Australia; and Canada's five big banks.

Apple Pay usage totalled $10.9 billion last year, the vast majority of that in the United States. That is less than the annual volume of transactions in Kenya, a mobile payments pioneer, according to research firm Timetric.

And its global turnover is a drop in the bucket in China, where Internet giants Alibaba and Tencent dominate the world's biggest mobile payments market - with an estimated $1 trillion worth of mobile transactions last year, according to iResearch data.   Continued...